16 Simple Dinners for an Anti-Inflammatory Mediterranean Diet

Huma Qurashi By Huma Qurashi

If you’re looking to enjoy meals that promote overall well-being, we’ve got you covered with these 30-minute dinners. These recipes feature ingredients known for their anti-inflammatory properties, such as seafood, dark leafy greens, legumes, and herbs. Incorporating these dishes into your diet can help alleviate troublesome symptoms of chronic inflammation, including digestive issues, muscle aches, and mental fog. Additionally, these meals embrace the principles of the Mediterranean diet, which is renowned for its health benefits. From the deliciously saucy Chicken Tinga Baked Pasta to the protein-packed Chicken Piccata Casserole, these recipes offer both nourishment and flavor.

Chicken Tinga Baked Pasta

This zesty baked pasta showcases leftover chicken tinga, a traditional Mexican dish from Puebla. The luscious tomato-chipotle sauce adds a perfect combination of heat and creaminess to the dish.

Creamy Spinach-Artichoke Salmon

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In this quick and easy dinner for four, the vegetables and sauce come together in a single skillet within minutes, while the salmon broils. As an added bonus, salmon is replete with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and brimming with essential nutrients like B vitamins and potassium.

Sesame-Crusted Tofu with Radish-Apple Slaw

Slices of tofu are coated with sesame seeds, resulting in an irresistibly crunchy crust. The tofu is served alongside a tangy and refreshing radish-apple slaw. Feel free to combine black and white sesame seeds for a visually appealing touch, or use whatever variety you have on hand. Enjoy this ultra-quick recipe with brown rice or soba noodles on the side.

Cucumber Chickpea Salad with Feta & Lemon

Tangy and refreshing, this cucumber chickpea salad with feta and lemon can be savored on its own or tossed with greens for an effortless lunch or dinner. While dill imparts a grassy flavor, you can easily swap it out with another fresh herb like oregano, parsley, or chives.

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Chicken Piccata Casserole Packed with 31 Grams of Protein

This protein-packed chicken piccata casserole combines all the flavors of the classic dish into one delightful creation. Unlike traditional piccata, this casserole requires no dredging or sauce preparation. By cooking the lemon slices in butter, their sharpness is mellowed and their tanginess enhances the overall flavor profile.

Green Goddess Ricotta Pasta

Harnessing the flavors of green goddess dressing, this pasta sauce brims with brightness and zest, thanks to lemon, anchovy, and herbs. A medley of basil, chives, parsley, and tarragon works wonders, but feel free to use a combination of herbs available to you. The addition of ricotta lends a sumptuous, velvety texture, while the hint of acidity from lemon juice perfectly balances the creaminess. We recommend using shell-shaped pasta to capture the sauce, but you can easily substitute it with your preferred noodle. For extra vegetable power, consider adding asparagus or peas to the dish.

Bibimbap-Inspired Rice Bowls

While not strictly traditional, these brown rice bowls are inspired by Korean bibimbap. They feature a mix of sweet and spicy ground beef, sliced veggies, and a fried egg on top. Gochujang, a fermented paste made from chiles, soybeans, and rice, adds subtle heat and layers of complexity. The dish is wonderfully finished with a hint of toasted sesame oil, imparting a delightful nutty flavor.

Anti-Inflammatory Chicken & Beet Salad

This quick salad harnesses the flavors of tart cherry juice concentrate, which adds both taste and anti-inflammatory benefits. Combined with other ingredients like beets and walnuts, it creates a nutritious and satisfying dish. Opting for packaged cooked beets saves time and minimizes mess. Look for them in the produce section, alongside other prepared vegetables.

Super Green Pasta

This quick and easy green pasta recipe enables you to incorporate a generous amount of veggies into your meal. Kale and spinach transform into a vibrant green sauce when cooked and blended with basil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese, resulting in a pesto-like flavor. Enjoy this vegetarian pasta as is, or add grilled chicken or white beans for an added boost of protein.

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Tilapia Fish Tacos

Take a break from tradition and indulge in these protein-rich brown rice bowls, drawing inspiration from Korean bibimbap. They feature a mix of sweet and spicy ground beef, sliced veggies, and a fried egg as a delicious topping. Gochujang, a fermented paste made from chiles, soybeans, and rice, adds subtle spice while infusing the dish with layers of complexity. A drizzle of toasted sesame oil completes the flavors with a delightful nuttiness.

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Refreshing and Quick Tilapia Fish Tacos

These delicious tilapia fish tacos are not only refreshing and quick to make, but they also have a tender texture and a flavor that will transport you straight to the coast. Both corn and flour tortillas work perfectly with these tacos. While we love the mild taste of tilapia, you can easily substitute it with any white, flaky fish like cod or haddock for equally delightful results.

Spinach Salad with Quinoa, Chicken & Fresh Berries

If you’re taking this grain bowl to work, simply mix the dressing ingredients in a small container. When you’re ready to eat, give the dressing a good shake, add it to the salad, and toss everything together. If you’re short on time and don’t have homemade dressing, a store-bought olive oil vinaigrette (3 tablespoons) works just as well. To save time on prep, use rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken and a pouch of microwavable quinoa.

Bibim Naengmyeon

The star of bibim naengmyeon is the sauce – a delightful combination of sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors that perfectly complement the chewy noodles. While traditional toppings often include egg and beef, this version offers a hassle-free vegan meal by omitting them. For a more satisfying dish, add slices of fried or grilled tofu. It’s best to enjoy this dish immediately since the noodles tend to become stiff and difficult to mix the longer they sit.

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Braised Lentils & Kale with Fried Eggs

These braised lentils cooked with tender kale in a fire-roasted tomato broth, topped with a fried egg, are a protein-packed delight. Microwaveable lentils require a short time in the pan to finish cooking. If you have cooked or canned lentils on hand, feel free to use them instead, but reduce the cooking time slightly to ensure they don’t become too soft. The soft, runny yolk of the egg adds a delightful touch to the dish. If you prefer a harder yolk, cover the pan and add an extra 2 or 3 minutes to the cooking time.

20-Minute Pasta al Limone

This zesty and velvety pasta al limone recipe can be prepared in just 20 minutes. Originating from Sorrento, Italy, famous for their aromatic lemons with thick, bumpy rinds and a balanced sugar content verging on sweet, this dish showcases the flavors of these unique lemons. However, if you don’t have Sorrento lemons, don’t worry – any large, ripe, firm lemon with a rough rind will do. Thicker-skinned lemons tend to yield more zest, resulting in the best possible outcome.

Grilled Vegetable & Black Bean Farro Bowls

These hearty bowls are packed with all the goodness of a black bean and veggie burrito, minus the tortilla. Nutty and chewy farro replaces rice, while the vegetables are grilled to perfection with a tangy lime vinaigrette. These bowls are delicious at room temperature, but if you prefer, you can heat the beans with a splash of vegetable broth and reheat the vegetables in a small skillet.

Cashew, Chickpea & Pasta Salad with Cilantro-Mint-Shallot Vinaigrette

In our humble opinion, the dressing is the star of this salad. It brings a tangy and zesty flavor, with a delightful crunch from the shallots. Once you’ve made the dressing and chopped up the veggies, you can cook the pasta and mix everything together. Get ready to enjoy a truly delicious salad!

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Hi! I'm Huma Qurashi, an international educator and food writer, excited about bringing you traditional Pakistani recipes from across the country.
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